We interrupt this exercise program to bring you… Life!

Today was the first time in over a week I did something from my usual exercise routine.

This is the biggest lapse I’ve had in regular exercise since I started. It’s not that I haven’t been active (downright busy as a matter of fact!), I just haven’t done my usual intensity of a run or bike regime.

Last week it was a great weekend of camping with hiking and moments at the beach; followed by 5, instead of 4 days of work with a hike up a mountain thrown in the middle of it all; a day to veg to collect myself, and a day with my (who I thought was sick at the time) kid. Throw in the usual household duties and it gets to be a busy time. I’ve come closer to the 300 mark again, but fluctuations happen. I could sit around and beat myself up over it, but what is it going to accomplish?

Point is, that in the middle of our best intentions, life happens. It’s a hiccup, and it’s not going to be the only one. It might be a setback, but it’s not the end of the world. You pick up from where you left off, and you keep going.

You don’t fail when you’re not successful, you fail when you stop trying!


The view from up here…

You know there’s a shift in your habits when it’s now a hard decision trying to decide what you want to do for exercise that day!

I decided to tackle a mountain I’ve climbed once before (figuratively and literally) when I started Geocaching. Id been up to one of the higher ridges to do a Geocache a year before, but missed another one further up the hill, due to lack of fitness at the time, and also a 3-year old in tow. Since then (according to the map on Geocaching.com) two more had been placed on the mountain. So, I decided to go for a climb!

Looking North

Looking North

Now here’s a tip for any new Geocachers: study your terrain and read about the caches before going after them. This can provide you information on the best way to get to a cache, or if it’s a puzzle cache, try to figure out the location before going to the location on the map (often, it’s not there, or even near there). Despite having some experience myself (315 caches found and counting), I did none of this. Conquering the mountain again was my quest on this day. Climbing the steepest part of the ascent was a lot faster than the first time I tried; a mix of being in better shape and no young child in tow! I was at the hill top and decided to check the coordinates of the mystery cache. 284 metres from my location… at the bottom of the hill.

Well crap, that might have to wait for another time.

Looking East

Looking East

I carried on to the top of the mill and the cache that was located in the area. I got close to the coordinates, but decided to check out the one a little further down the hill. Problem was, the hill was a steep decline to the bottom. I could go down, but getting back up was going to be a long climb, and I had time constraints. came across a fellow coming up the other side of the hill who gave me some directions on the trails that are on the mountain. He told me he’s climbed the mountain every day for two years and lost 50 pounds! Good on ya! Anyway, had I got the cache at the top first, I could have  descended for the other one and took a trail at the bottom of the hill to get back to my vehicle. I really didn’t want to get that cache and then climb back up the hill again for the first one. Oh well, at least I now know a better route from the bottom to get the other caches! Next time I’ll return with my bike.

Looking South

Looking South

Sometimes my Geocaching excursions turns out to be more of a “scouting mission”, to survey the terrain and to return at a future date. Today was one of those days. I only got one cache I was after, but I discovered an easier route (and a new trail!) to go after the other two.

But in the end, finding the cache was just a bonus. In a way, we all have our own mountains to climb. Sometimes, it’s not the goal at the end that’s important, it’s the fact you made it to the top!

Bones from an old abandoned Orchard.

Bones from an old abandoned Orchard.

Milestone Reached!

July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013

Yesterday was speculation. Today, it’s official. For the first time in 7 years, I’m under 300 pounds!

This is the first big Milestone on the journey, and represents several things:

  • This is the most weight I’ve ever lost at once.
  • This is the most weight I’ve lost and KEPT off.
  • This is essentially the “halfway” mark to my target weight.
  • This opens up a lot of options for sporting goods to use, as many have a “Maximum 300 lbs.” weight limit.

It’s a bag of mixed emotions: joy, relief, a sense of accomplishment, and wonder about what comes next. It also bring a new voice that I recognize, and call “Complacency”. “Hey, you don’t need to go out and run or bike today. Look how far you’ve come. Go ahead and cheat a little more!”. That type of voice is what contributed to me being as heavy as I was. Now – more than ever – is the time to remain vigilant! The habits are still new and too easy to slip back into old ways. How bad do you want to keep what you’ve accomplished?

This is the first of 3 milestones I’m aiming for. The other two are: around or above 290, which is what I weighed when I got married; and 270, which is what I weighed when I played Tournament Paintball, and when my wife and I started dating. I’d eventually like to give her back the man she met!

I honestly had my doubts that I would ever get to this point. Now that I’m here, I look forward to what lies ahead.

Get Outside!

Get Outdoors!

Get Outdoors!

Today is “Get Outdoors Day” within the Geocaching Community, and today I did just that.

Originally we were supposed to go as a family up to Big White to do some hiking and Geocaching up there, but Liam got real sick real fast, so that put a hold on those plans. Jeanne did let me go out to do a couple of caches so I could get the souvenir (seen above). I decided to finish off a short series I had started a while ago. One cache was a distance from the starting point, so I decided to take the bike out for a quicker return trip.

Having been on this path before (actually, it’s chunk of old highway) I knew what was upcoming, but being later in the year than the first time I was here, the weeds were at least 8 feet or taller in areas right next to the road, allowing for no view of what’s coming up. I made sure and had the bear bells out, especially with signs of bear scat on the road that didn’t look that old. The ride back was primarily uphill but not too hard to do. It was a good leg workout without being too exhausting. I did my best to keep my eyes open for sharp rocks to avoid on some parts of the trail.

Sign the Log?

As I got back to my vehicle, my GPS “leapt” (I’m sure I had it fastened on right?) off it’s mount and fell (good thing it had a rubber cover). As I leaned over to pick it up, I heard a large PSSSSHHHHHHHH from the front tire! I could feel air rushing past the valve stem from inside the rim. Moments like this is where I swear there’s someone watching over me! This happens WAY too often in my life to be mere coincidence (which I don’t believe in). If it was going to fair, as I get back to my vehicle is perfect! Have to repair the tire now, but better than a kilometer walk alone in the middle of nowhere!

Did one final cache while in the area, on a hillside that I’m pretty sure would have left a goat feeling winded. Geocaching takes me to great spots, some even take my breath away!

IMAG1027 (383x640)



Anything is possible, if you know H.O.W.!

I like anyone who can teach me something new or help put a new perspective on life.

During today’s Doctor visit (everything’s going smashing from his perspective BTW, details to follow) he shared a nugget of wisdom with me. He said that to make effective changes in your life, you need to know the acronym H.O.W.. It means HONESTY, OPENNESS, and WILLINGNESS.

Damn! One for the Doc!

Let me break it down into how I define it:

HONESTY – I have another blog post in draft form called The Lies We Tell Ourselves that touches on this subject. The bottom line is that at some point, you have to quit lying to yourself. “I don’t need to change my diet” or “I’m perfectly healthy the way I am” as examples. You need to really take a hard look at things and realize that whatever it is that you’re doing, isn’t working. The lies create a comfortable trap that we’re more than happy to sit in while waiting for it to eventually snap shut. You stay in the trap, you die. Bottom line. Being honest and realizing that change is necessary opens up the door for:

OPENNESS – For the change to come, we must be willing to accept new ideas and new methods, some of which may completely rock our worlds and what we’ve believed over time. Because what we were doing before wasn’t working, those methods and ideas must be put side for new paths of learning, whatever they may be.

WILLINGNESS – The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Whether you’re a saint or a junkie, if you do not have the willingness to change, no change will come. Even if someone could force you to do it, the change would not last because even though you may want it, you have to be willing to do what is necessary for those changes to come. Nothing is possible without this.

You want to change? HOW to do it is right here! No matter what you do or want to do, someone can show you the path, but nothing will happen until YOU take that first step. And that’s just part of the willingness, now isn’t it?